NORFOLK, Va. – Grandparents and
parents like to tell children growing up, "There's only two sure
things in life: death and taxes."
Well right behind "death and taxes" may be the Virginia Commonwealth University men's tennis program who won its 12th Colonial Athletic Association Championship in its 15 years in the league after defeating top-seeded William & Mary, 4-1, on Sunday morning at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center on the campus of Old Dominion.
"I'm just really excited for our kids," Head Coach Paul Kostin said. "We're a very, very young team and we played some very good teams this year, so our record wasn't like it has been in the past. However, that didn't matter to these guys, they were focused on leaving here with the trophy and now they're going to get to do just that."
William & Mary took an early 1-0 lead after picking up wins at the top two doubles positions, but that all changed when the singles matches started.
Junior Tim Johannsen (Hohenlockstedt, Germany) evened the tally with a quick 6-1, 6-3 victory over Sebastien Vidal at number two. 2010 CAA Player of the Year Thibaut Charron (Sens, France) made it 2-1 in favor of the Rams with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Keziel Juneau at the top spot in the singles lineup.
Sophomore Filip Svensson (Angelholm, Sweden) continued his hot play with a 6-4, 6-0 win at number six and the title was locked up when freshman Camill Salomon (Limoges, France) got by the Tribe's Anton Andersson, 6-3, 6-3 at number five.
"I have to thank [Assistant Coach] Romain [Ambert] for staying dedicated to these guys and keeping them focused on preparing on the next match and not getting caught up in anything else," Kostin said. "This group has a chance to be very special for years to come."
The Rams now have a couple weeks of practicing before learning their fate for the NCAA Tournament, which will be announced live on ESPNews on May 4th at 5 p.m.
#2 VCU 4, #1 William & Mary 1
#1 Thibaut Charron (VCU) d. Keziel Juneau (W&M), 6-2, 7-5
#2 Tim Johannsen (VCU) d. Sebastien Vidal (W&M), 6-1, 6-3
#3 Krisztian Krocsko (VCU) vs. Jamie Whiteford (W&M), 7-5, 3-5 - DNF
#4 Max Wennakoski (VCU) vs. Richard Wardell (W&M), 6-2, 6-7 (5-7) - DNF
#5 Camill Salomon (VCU) d. Anton Andersson (W&M), 6-3, 6-3
#6 Filip Svensson (VCU) d. Ilja Orre (W&M), 6-4, 6-0
Singles Order of Finish: 2, 1, 6, 5
#1 Whiteford/Vidal (W&M) d. Charron/Krocsko (VCU), 8-5
#2 Andersson/Juneau (W&M) d. Johannsen/Salomon (VCU), 8-4
#3 Wennakoski/Svensson (VCU) d. Orre/Wardell (W&M), 8-4
Doubles Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1